A former prosecutor for the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office was arrested Thursday after Midvale investigators say he attempted to purchase over $1,000 worth of items from a Starbucks with a stolen credit card.
Matthew Nielsen was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of unlawful use of a banking card, a third-degree felony, and a misdemeanor count of attempted theft.
The incident happened Jan. 12 when a man tried to purchase 10 $100 gift certificates at Starbucks, 7184 S. Union Park Ave., with a card that did not belong to him or a family member, said Midvale Police Sgt. John Salazar.
"It was a female's credit card. He did not have any ID on him," Salazar said. "The clerk would not let him complete the transaction."
Salazar would not comment on how detectives believed the man got the stolen credit card.
The man left, but the clerk watched him walk out to his car and wrote down his license plate number. Nielsen was arrested Thursday, booked into the Salt Lake County Jail and immediately released to pre-trial services.
Should prosecutors decide charges are warranted, the case will likely be handled by the Utah Attorney General's Office to avoid a conflict of interest. Nielsen was a deputy district attorney in Salt Lake County up until three months ago when he left the office for undisclosed reasons.
On Jan. 30, 2005, Nielsen was investigated at his Cottonwood Heights home for possible domestic violence and obstruction of justice after Salt Lake County sheriff's deputies on scene said they were threatened by Nielsen. A day after deputies were called to his house, Nielsen filed for a temporary protective order against his wife, claiming co-habitant abuse, according to court records. The order was canceled two weeks later after both parties failed to show at a scheduled court hearing.
Nielsen was cleared of any wrongdoing two months later by the Davis County Attorney's Office, which investigated the abuse allegation and found there was "insufficient evidence."In November 2007, Nielsen's wife filed for a temporary protective order against him, claiming cohabitant abuse. The order was allowed to expire the next month.